Australian Football comes to Austin, Texas

2011 Freedom Austin
2011 USAFL Nationals

Nation’s top “Footy” event welcomes 2,000 players, coaches and fans!

Sept. 28, 2011 (Austin, Tex.) – The United States Australian Football League brings 40 teams and around 1,000 of the nation’s best “footy” players to Texas’ capital city on Oct. 8 and 9. Total attendance is estimated near 2,000, and this event will generate over $1.5 million in economic impact for Austin. This is the first time that USAFL has hosted a national tournament in Texas.

The largest Australian football event of the year (and the biggest Australian football tournament in the world!), the National Tournament brings together clubs and teams from across America to compete for the Men’s First through Fourth Division titles and Women’s First Division title. Tournament games take place at the Onion Creek Soccer Complex in south Austin throughout the weekend.

Austin is home to a United States Australian Football League team, the Austin Crows. The team’s success in last year’s tournament is expected to draw some crowds for this year’s contest as they seek the Division 2 title. In addition, Austin Crows players, Noor Jahangir and Jesse Leos, recently represented the United States in the Australian Football International Cup, and helped lead the U.S. team to a 4th place finish.

“It is an honor for Austin to be chosen for the United States Australian Football League National Tournament, and we are excited to host this one-of-a-kind event,” says Matthew Payne, executive director of the Austin Sports Commission. “We have enjoyed working with United States Australian Football League officials through the bid process and are looking forward to showcasing our wonderful city to the many athletes coming from all over the country. Austin is known for doing things a little unconventionally, so we know this city will embrace the great game of Australian Football.”

Rich Mann, United States Australian Football League president and tournament director, adds, “On our recent visit, we were impressed by the quality of the playing surface at Onion Creek, despite the summer Austin has had. Furthermore, for all their work done and hospitality shown, I would like to personally thank the Austin Sports Commission, our host hotels and the Austin Crows football club. We are excited at continuing to work with the City, Sports Commission, City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department and everyone in Austin as we build toward October 8th.”

Known worldwide as “footy,” Australian Rules Football is a fast-moving, physically-demanding game played with the same intensity as the American style of play, but with many differences. It is played between two teams of 18 players on grassed arenas which vary in size and may be up to 200 yards long. The game is also distinguished from others by the fast, relatively free movement of the ball and the awarding of a free kick for any clean catch – known as a mark – of a ball which has been kicked more than 15 meters. Spectacular high marks, or "spekkies", long and accurate kicking and fast, fluid play are the game's main attributes as a spectator sport.

What:      United States Australian Football League National Tournament
When:       Oct. 10-11, various times
Where:      Onion Creek Soccer Club, 5600 E. William Cannon Drive
Attendance:     To attend or arrange interviews, contact Rich Mann, USAFL President.

About the Austin Sports Commission

The Austin Sports Commission recruits, grows and retains sporting events in the greater Austin area. Sporting events continue to generate a significant economic impact for Austin. ASC works hand in hand with local organizing committees and event producers to identify potential venues, secure hotel space and, most importantly, serve as a local resource for ensuring operational success of the event. www.austinsports.org.

About the United States Australian Football League

The United States Australian Football League is the sport’s national governing body within the United States. With offices in Wisconsin, the United States Australian Football League governs and sanctions competition for more than 35 clubs and 2,000 members across the United States. The United States Australian Football League is further divided into three geographic ‘zones’ within the United States: east, central and west and competition is played within these zones, culminating in the National Tournament where teams from across the country compete against each other. The United States Australian Football League also selects and trains the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams that represent the United States in international competition. More information can be found at www.usafl.com.

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